Those who know the story of pianist Jimmy Amadie should recognize that In a Trio Setting: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra represents not only an artistic triumph but a veritable miracle of will. Inspired by time and rhythm, Amadie, who suffers from tendonitis and at most could only play in increments of ten minutes every six months, required a lot of time -- a full five years -- to get this labor of love recorded. On the rhythmic front, Amadie had such a sense of this musical element that he laid down his piano tracks first and left enough mental, physical, and harmonic space so that his trio mates could add their stellar improvisations later. As with any great composition, the songs selected afford Amadie, bassist Steve Gilmore, and drummer Bill Goodwin the creative space to render their approach seamlessly and artistically. Upon its first hearing, a listener wouldn't realize the virtually impossible conditions under which this record was made. But after hearing "Night and Day" -- a song that is literally inseparable from Frank Sinatra's repertoire -- or the eight-minute "Love for Sale" -- a song never sung by Sinatra -- you gain an enormous amount of respect for Jimmy Amadie's ability to anchor these freewheeling rhapsodies with his ingenious left-hand vamp and right-hand melodic phrasings. As with the entire CD, the first take is the only take and that's all you need to hear to realize that Amadie is still the imaginative, inventive stylist he always was.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein